Among his variety of volunteer projects are serving as chairman of Baton Rouge Pride, working in his local Metropolitan Community Church congregation and serving with his husband, Dr. Patrick Cain, as this year’s royalty for the Krewe of Apollo Baton Rouge. Couple that with officially being “newlyweds” after 20-plus years together and the task of downsizing to a condo and cleaning out 20 years of “stuff” from their larger home in Baton Rouge, and the Cain-Merrill household hasn’t seen many “free” minutes.Randy Anderson says: I retired from the Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service nearly four years ago. At the time of my retirement my official title was Web Design/Developer. I handled all of the online web activities for the entire Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service system.
When there is spare time, however, they’ve been traveling (spending three weeks at the Cain family cabin in Colorado this summer) and enjoying their second home in the French Quarter in New Orleans, where they pride themselves on eating too much and maybe even having a cocktail or two.
Just to keep him in practice with meetings and teleconferences, Tom is still serving on the planning committee for the ACE conference this summer in New Orleans and invites all of you to join us there. Occasionally, he even finds time for an e-book or two and looks forward to eventually spending more “leisure time” in a few years after Dr. Cain retires from being an emergency physician. Beyond question, life is good, and retirement is great!
Since retirement I have been involved with various activities including the supervision of building a new "forever" home here in Laramie. Yes, the winters are a little dicey, but you can't beat the summers (no 100+ days, no humidity, no big bus of snakes)!Gene Hettel writes: After 43 years in agricultural communication and a member of ACE (seven years at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, six years at Iowa State University Extension in Ames, nine years at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, and the last 21 years at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines), I am retiring with my wife of 32 years, Aurora.
Currently I am driving a support vehicle for the local school district helping transport some identified needs students to and from school on a daily basis. In addition I’m keeping busy with my lifetime hobby of family genealogy, I currently have information back 14 generations on one side of the family!
We will be using Calamba, Philippines, as our home base, but will also be spending some time back on the Hettel family farm in Norwalk, Ohio. I'm keeping my hand in the communication game a little bit by doing occasional consultancies at IRRI, which is just a few kilometers down the road from where we live on the slopes of Mount Makiling. I'm currently doing the substantive edit of a major IRRI publication that will be an online resource, Rice Diseases: Biology & Selected Management Practices.
I can be reached on email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the early ‘90s I was appointed chair of the ACE membership committee. This is about the time that ACE was hoping to have 1,000 members by the year 2000. Our team was made up of a collection of sharp, energetic ACE members who took this charge to heart. Members included Michael Gross, Maine, and Tana Kappel, Montana, and others I can't remember. We planned several out-of-the-box recruitment pieces with "catchy" copy and lots of color and complex folds as well as a storyboard for an upbeat video. We breezed through the process and during our last phone call prior to our Board presentation, we talked about how proud we were of the products we planned and how well we worked together as a team. We all agreed it was the most efficient and best ACE committee we had served on. Unfortunately the ACE Board did not share our unbridled enthusiasm for our recommendations and we eventually reverted to creating more traditional recruitment pieces. But it was fun while it lasted.
My life view calls for active participation in professional organizations. Early in my career in daily journalism, in the late ‘60s I specialized in ag reporting and joined the Newspaper Farm Editors of America. Desperate for a western officer, I suppose, the organization appointed me as western states vice president, and I accepted. Indirectly, this soon led Washington State University to offer me a non-teaching, non-tenured faculty-level position. I retired from that position 32 years later, during which time I served ACE in several positions, and served the land-grant university system by serving on a variety of committees, including a USDA committee charged with improving urban understanding of agriculture.
My ACE service included more than a decade as a journal article reviewer, and at least a decade (as I recall) as state rep. I also served on ACE conference planning committees. I welcomed these opportunities both as a professional obligation and a vehicle for professional development.
I perceive that there has been a strong movement away from faculty appointments for communicators who don’t teach and do research. It was well underway when I retired in 2004. Frankly I was able to engage in these professional activities because I was a faculty member. One of the advantages of faculty status (some would consider it a burden) is the expectation to be involved in research, teaching and committee work. Also, to work with minimal direction.
My perception was that at some institutions faculty are given more support from administration to travel, to be involved in professional meetings and activities, etc., than are classified staff. In my day many colleagues in some states had to travel to ACE meetings at their own expense. But throughout my career, WSU administration fully supported my professional society activities, including travel to committee meetings and conferences. My administrators viewed requests for my participation in ACE as reflecting favorably on WSU.
Yes, serving ACE required extra hours; but that is one of the advantages of faculty status. No one told me that I couldn’t be in the office working at midnight or four in the morning. And I firmly believe that I am the person who benefitted most from time and energy devoted to ACE.
One of my favorite memories of ACE traces back perhaps to about 1990 when our Illinois members hosted a North Central Region conference here in Champaign-Urbana. Anita Povich was a key leader of the planning team and all of us got into the spirit of the occasion. A theme, "On the Horizon," permitted featuring this prairie region of the Midwest and helped give a forward-looking thrust to the program. I remember attending an evening planetarium show about prairie skies. We hoped the visiting ACE members enjoyed this conference and I recall how the planning and hosting activities added teamwork and ACE spirit here.
My involvement in ACE was primarily to learn more and get to know personally many of those professionals in the organization from around the country who were tops in the field of communications. I would read about what these men and women were doing in their particular state, or on the national level, in our ACE publications. I was “awe struck” then, and still am by these many communication trail blazers! I did learn from them and they did help me do a better job! Even now, after 26 years in retirement, I still get a thrill when reading or hearing about them. And getting to know many of them personally was a major highlight in my career.